Email Marketing: 29 Ideas and Tips for 2012

    by Paul Shuteyev
    to-do-list-checklist-vector-imageHey Guys, Hope you're doing great! We all know that planning task is  harder than it sounds sometimes. I found a great list of email marketing ideas and tips for 2012 - you can find some great ideas here and use them to improve your email marketing campaigns. This email marketing plan covers following areas - list growth, data capture, deliverability improvement, content and design ideas, email automation and segmentation tips, email list inactivity problems, etc. Please enjoy! List Growth/Data Capture
    • Investigate new options and channels that help you acquire more new subscribers and associated data you can use to fine-tune your messages, such as the following:
    • Location-based opt-ins using social programs like Foursquare, in-store tablets or kiosks and QR codes on store signage.
    • Opting in via SMS text message.
    • Social sign-in (subscribers opt in quickly via a social network without filling out innumerable data fields).
    • Progressive forms that gather data gradually over a series of prompting emails.
    • Optimized preference centers that enable more sophisticated targeting based on demographics and interests.
    • Use seed lists or a third-party service to learn your inbox placement rate, not just how many emails didn't get lost to hard bounces and spam traps.
    • Discover what's driving spam complaints and deliverability issues and which problems you can control, such as address acquisition source/methods; data hygiene practices; frequency or content.
    • Redesign your emails to be mobile- and touch-friendly:
    • Use scalable emails that adjust the content size as the screen grows or shrinks.
    • Redesign navigation, links and CTA image buttons to be clicked easily even by "fat fingers."
    • Add mobile versions of emails and landing pages.
    • Test and optimize landing and Web pages to maximize conversion from your email traffic.
    • Design/redesign email messages to make them shareworthy: easier to share with content that subscribers want to share.
    • Add more personality and "voice" to your messages, such as content by employees, subscribers, customers or other stakeholders.
    • Design certain email messages to do more than sell -- also educate, inform, intrigue, entertain and engage.
    • Leverage your investment in other Web/marketing technologies such as recommendation engines or product review management software and add that content to email messages through dynamic content.
    • Test different cadences to find which works best with different engagement levels of subscribers.
    Automation and Segmentation
    • Launch or tweak a pre-purchase program based on customer behavior, such as browsing or cart-abandonment/remarketing.
    • Launch or tweak a post-purchase program including surveys, purchase anniversary, bounceback, product replacement, reviews or ratings.
    • Launch or improve transactional emails with better design or dynamic content that incorporates cross-selling, upselling, reviews or other UGC.
    • Leverage Web and purchase behavior to implement track-based nurture programs.
    • Finally implement that birthday email program because you've been capturing birth date for a few years.
    • Automate where possible, sending emails to individuals based on time zone/location or previous engagement times.
    Reducing List Churn/Inactivity
    • Upgrade from a one-size-fits-all single welcome email to a multi-email "onboarding" program that leverages Web behavior and demographic and interest data.
    • Move to early activation rather than waiting until well after subscribers have gone inactive.
    • Add an "opt-out alternatives" preference center that enables choice of frequency and address/channel/content changes or even to pause emails for a defined period.
    • Move beyond process metrics (open and click rates, bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints) to measure business-driven metrics such as cost reduction, impact on retention, revenue per email or brand value.
    • Analyze results by segment, demographic, buyer versus non-buyer, domain, etc., to provide insight for future strategies and programs.
    Written by:
    Paul Shuteyev
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